Statistics Show Strong Labour Market, with Many Vacancies

By , 11 May 2018, 09:25 AM Business
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STA, 10 May 2018 - The number of vacancies and occupied jobs rose in the first quarter of 2018, putting Slovenia's job vacancy rate at 2.5%, the highest since 2008, data released by the national Statistics Office (SURS) on Thursday showed. This reflects employers' complaints that workers are hard to find. 

The figure is 0.2 percentage points higher than in the last quarter of 2017 and 0.5 points above the same period a year ago.

There were more than 19,000 vacancies in the January-to-March period, up 2,000 over the previous quarter, with the biggest demand for workers recorded in manufacturing, the construction industry and retail.

"A rise in the number of vacancies and in the number of occupied jobs has resulted in the highest job vacancy rate since 2008, when it reached 2.5%," SURS said.

The lowest job vacancy rate on record, 0.6%, was recorded in the second half of 2009.

Meanwhile, the number of occupied jobs in the first quarter reached almost 743,600, which is almost 5,500 more than in the last quarter of last year.

The biggest rise in occupied jobs was recorded in manufacturing, the construction industry, and transport and the warehousing industry.

SURS expects the trend to continue if employers actually find properly trained workers and hire them.

The trend reflects dropping unemployment, as jobless total fell to the nine-year low in April, and employers' complaints that they have a hard time finding workers, both blue-collar workers and highly-trained professionals.

Employers have thus been urging the government to simplify employment of foreigners from non-EU countries and lower labour taxation to stop the young from going abroad.

Just recently, a bill was passed to ease procedures to hire highly-trained foreigners, a move benefiting innovative companies.

But the government has also decided to extend labour market restrictions for Croatian workers, having introduced them when Croatia joined the EU in July 2013.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GZS), the most powerful employer organisation, protested, saying this would further destabilise Slovenia's labour market.

Eurostat's seasonally unadjusted data show that 24 EU members had an average 2% job vacancy rate in the last quarter of 2017, up 0.2 points year on year.

The Czech Republic's rate was the highest with 4.4%, while Slovenia placed ninth with 2%.

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